Vows Made in Wine

Susan Wiggs, Author HarperCollins Publishers $5.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-108144-6
Oliver de Lacey is a handsome 16-century rakehell who lived a carefree existence until jailed and sentenced to hang for having incited a riot. As he freely admits, he died badly, having pleaded and begged for mercy. Then why isn't he dead? Miraculously, greased palms and one Mistress Lark saved him. The straitlaced Lark and her aged guardian, Spencer Merrifield (blessed with the made-for-romance title of the Earl of Hardstaff), have their own plans for Oliver, chiefly, to keep Blackrose Priory out of the hands of Spencer's embittered son, Wynter, who is an ardent follower of Catholic Mary Queen of Scots. Before long, Oliver also finds himself rescuing the Reverend Richard Speed from execution, hiding out in a Gypsy camp and coming to blows with Wynter. As if all this weren't enough, Oliver eventually learns that Lark is already married. This plot is packed with unexpected twists, sparkling characters and enough humor to have the reader chuckling aloud. Wiggs (Circle in the Water) has created a flawless story touched by real emotion, enlivened by sharp-witted comedy and blessed with a hero worth waiting for. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
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